Archives for posts with tag: home & garden

flower-pot-bread

As we pause for a few days of feasting and reflecting, one of our favorite ways to celebrate is by incorporating our flower pots into our holiday plans. While the most straightforward way to do this is to use them as part of a centerpiece or floral decoration, we’ve found that using our simple red clay pots to make flower pot bread is a highlight of the season.

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large mixing bowl if you’re kneading by hand) add baking mix and yeast and blend with your hands until evenly distributed.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and 4 teaspoons milk. Add in 3/4 cup warm water (straight from the tap is fine) and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix with your hands until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Using the dough hook attachment mix on medium-low for 7 minutes. Dough should be smooth, pliable and soft but not sticky.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Form the dough into a loaf by tucking the back side of the dough into itself and turning clockwise and repeating until you have a  a nice round smooth ball of dough.
  6. Divide the dough evenly into four sections. Repeat the above action of tucking and turning with each of the four balls of dough so you have 4 mini round loafs.
  7. Coat the inside of your seasoned terracotta baking pots thoroughly with vegetable oil. Place one ball of dough in each baking pot. Cover baking pots with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour. After an hour, dough should be about the height of the baking pots.
  8. Preheat oven to 350˚F and continue to let rise until the dough is above the lip of the baking pot. Place baking pots on a baking sheet and bake on the center rack for 18 minutes.
  9. Let cool. When the bread and baking pots are cool enough to handle turn over and using a knife scrap any dough off the bottom of the pot. Remove each loaf from the baking pots and let both cool for 5-10 minutes. Return bread to terracotta baking pot, serve with homemade lavender butter.
  10. Wash terracotta baking pots with warm water and plan your next flower pot loaf. Elastic doughs work great with a well oiled baking pot. For runnier doughs (like quick breads) line your baking pot with parchment paper.

Original Recipe may be found at https://farmsteady.com/baking-flower-pot-bread/

There’s no need to completely rework your summer flower pots and planters to give them Fall flair. Instead, check out these nine ideas from Houzz for updating existing container gardens (or, if you’re inspired, potting up new ones), including one plant to add for instant drama, and a zero-effort, lazy-gardener’s trick for covering a bare spot.

The houzz.com slideshow below has some tremendous ideas for Fall container plantings. Preparing and selling pre-planted containers such as these can be an especially great way for independent garden centers to separate themselves from the big boxes, as this is a level of service that just can’t be scaled. While most of the pots shown in the slides aren’t ours, we do have very similar items to most of them on hand for quick shipment.

SANDRI 004If you’ve been paying even the slightest amount of attention to your social media accounts over the past few months, you will have noticed that the succulent trend of the past few years has transformed and blossomed into a fully-fledged resurrection of the houseplant craze of the 70’s and 80’s.

As with most trends, the houseplant revolution took root on the coasts, and is making rapid inroads towards the center of the country. Retail consumers (especially young, apartment-dwelling ones) are driven by the health benefits, the portability, and the affordability of houseplants; they are a super-easy way for your customers to make an impact on a living space, and make great gifts.

Even if you cater mostly to more established, home-owning consumers, you can still capitalize on this style shift, although you might also want to carry a selection of larger houseplants – we are seeing a big increase in sales of larger saucers this year, indicating that consumers aren’t just interested in small “starter” houseplants.

That this market shift is occurring is great news for just about everyone involved in the garden industry – houseplant sales aren’t seasonal in nature, and can help drive year-round profitability for your garden center.

Over the past few years, retailers who embraced succulents have seen sales spike in related categories as well, as consumers shopped for specialty soils, watering cans, fertilizers, and most importantly (from our perspective, anyway), pottery. We fully expect that the same thing will happen for garden centers who have the foresight to latch onto the houseplant craze as well.

We recommend that you include a range of planters in your Spring stocking order to ensure that you’re ready for consumer demand – hanging baskets, self-watering planters, pots with attached saucers, bonsai planters, and small pots with matching saucers are all good add-ons to your outdoor pottery offerings.

If you’d like to read more on the impact that houseplants are having on our industry, The December issue of Green Profit Magazine includes several perspectives on the growth in this market, and is worth a read.

Imagine what a difference it would make in your garden to switch out earth-toned pots that blend in with the background with containers that visually pop in shades of blue, red, orange or even purple. Colorful containers can be used in many ways to stand out and grab our attention in outdoor spaces — often where it’s more challenging to add color. Not all of the pots shown in the article are ours, but we’ve got similar ones available – remember that it’s the concepts and colors that are most important, not the specific planters.

Check out this cool post from Houzz.com about potting stations. Of course, we suggest using our pots instead of the ones pictured in the article, but as a general rule, we are fully in favor of home improvement projects that result in more pots being filled with dirt and plants.

It seems like Summer just started, but as always, Fall is just around the corner. In the Houzz story below, 5 ideas for Fall planters are discussed – lots of great ideas that can help to grow your pottery department’s profits during the traditional “off season”.

Most edibles do well in containers, and in some cases even prefer them. For gardeners with poor soil, or no soil at all, container gardening can be a way to create the edible garden your landscape wouldn’t otherwise allow you — all within steps of your house. But where to start? San Francisco Bay Area gardening consultant and edible-garden designer Steve Masley shares 10 great tips to growing the edibles in containers.

As Lauren Dunec Hoang points out in this terrific idea book from Houzz, “nothing has more immediate impact on the mood of a garden than color”. The principles and palettes that she details can be applied to any garden or landscaping project, from a multi-pot container garden to a large flower garden. No matter the scale of the project, brightly colored flower pots and planters are a great way to highlight specific colors, and to ensure that those colors remain part of your garden palette even after the flowers fade.

For the past year and a half, succulents have been lighting garden sales on fire across the country. While we do carry some pots which we consider to be specialty succulent planters, the reality is that these plants can beautifully occupy just about any container. This article from Houzz offers some great pointers and ideas on how to best pair your succulents with appropriate flower pots. Please note that not all of the pots shown are ours, but we do carry containers which are similar to most of those included in the article.